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“As a conspiracy theory, the term New World Order or NWO refers to the emergence of a totalitarian one-world government. The common theme in conspiracy theories about a New World Order is that a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government—which replaces sovereign nation-states… Prior to the early 1990s, New World Order conspiracism was limited to two American countercultures, primarily the militantly anti-government right, and secondarily fundamentalist Christians concerned with end-time emergence of the Antichrist.” -Wikipedia
Growing up I always thought that part of Adventism’s end time message was the idea of a “New World Order.” The concept of the New World Order as I understood it is basically this: The Roman Catholic Church will unite all of the world empires into one unified government that will persecute Gods people in the last days. The Pope will be the head of this movement and will control, enforce, and dictate issues of conscience. Of course, recent political talk of a “New Economic World Order” only served to add fuel to this belief. In my mind, when the governments of the world began to unite under the papacy then it was clear that, as in the Dark Ages, Catholicism had once again managed to become the dominant religio-political power of the world. Then one day I found a theological inconsistency in Adventism’s message of the New World Order and Adventism’s understanding of the feet and toes of Daniel chapter 2. According to Daniel 2, the feet and toes of the statue represent the final phase of earth’s political history. This phase is characterized by governmental division. In other words, in the last days the kingdoms of the world will be divided and nothing will unite them. They will remain this way until Christ comes and establishes his kingdom on earth after having cleansed the earth of sin and sinners. So how was I supposed to reconcile this clear biblical message with the “New World Order” theory that teaches that all world governments will be united under the Pope in the end times? I wasn’t too sure and for a long time, didn’t even think about it. That is, until I picked up a little book by Allen Roesch called, The “New World Order” Part of Adventism?
In this book Roesch demonstrates three points that allowed me to reconcile the New World Order with Daniel 2. These three points are separated into three questions:
Who is warning us about the coming New World Order?
Who is not warning us about the coming New World Order?
Who else is not warning us about the coming New World Order?
The first question sets the stage. According to Roesch those warning us about the coming New World Order are, among others, Malachi Martin, Gary Kah, Don McAlvany, and Gary North. Malachi Martin is an Irish Catholic Priest and former Jesuit priest who exposed the New World Order agenda in his book The Keys of this Blood. Kah, Mclvany, and North have all been involved in political and economic circles and are all well known for their proliferation of the New World Order agenda. However, what is interesting is that not a single one of these gentlemen is a Seventh-day Adventist. Not a single one of them preaches, teaches, or even remotely believes in the same prophetic message that the Seventh-day Adventist church proclaims. Now there's nothing wrong with not being an Adventist. But what is interesting is that a message that I thought to be central to SDA eschatology does not originate in the SDA church at all. The following two questions clarify.
The second question, Who is not warning us about the coming New World Order? explores the writings of some of the most influential Adventist pioneers. These include James White (husband of Ellen White), Uriah Smith (Adventist historian), J.N. Loughborough, and Stephen Haskell. Roesch points out that the idea of the New World Order is not found in any of their writings. If this message were a central pillar of Adventist eschatology, why is it not found among the writings of some of Adventism’s most respected pioneers? The answer is: The New World Order is not a part of Adventism. It is a conspiracy theory that originated with men who have much different views than that of the SDA church. It is not, and has never been, a part of Adventist eschatology.
The third and final question, Who else is not warning us about the coming New World Order? is a section dealing with Ellen Whites views on the topic, particularly in her book The Great Controversy which deals primarily with end time events. Once again, Roesch points out that nowhere in Ellen Whites writings, including The Great Controversy, is there any mention whatsoever to a New World Order. The closest you will come to it is in Ellen Whites mention of the papacy striving for the political domination he once had. However, the papacy striving for this domination and the papacy establishing a NWO are two totally different things. The way I grew up it seemed as though this theme was the most important aspect of our message and one that demanded our utmost attention and careful study, however, it’s not found anywhere in the writings of Ellen White. How is it that the woman Adventists believe to be a prophet could write about last day events and never once mention something that is supposedly so central and urgent to our message? The answer is simple. It’s not central to our message. As a matter of fact it’s not even marginal to our message. Just like Y2K, which many Adventists (and other Christians for that matter) freaked out over, the coming New World Order has nothing at all to do with our end time message. If you want to find it you will have to look to guys like Malachi Martin and Gary North because you will not find it in Adventist theology anywhere.
So how do I reconcile the New World Order theory with Daniel 2? Well it’s really quite simple. The only New World Order in Daniel 2 and Adventist eschatology is the New World Order of the Kingdom of Christ, the stone which destroys the statue representing the kingdom of God which will come to this world and never end.
While I don’t agree with all of Roesch points in The “New World Order” Part of Adventism? or even like the way that Roesch goes about some of his research regarding the four gentlemen that proclaim the New World Order message, I do appreciate his effort in disproving the notion that this doctrine is part of Adventist eschatology. For that I thank him.
In conclusion I would like to leave all of us with the following Ellen White statements:
The end is near, and now is the time when Satan will make special efforts to distract the interest and separate it from the all-important subjects that should arrest every mind to consecrated action. - III Selected messages 23, 24
As Christ’s ambassadors, they are to search the Scriptures, to seek for the truths that have been hidden beneath the rubbish of error. And every ray of light received is to be communicated to others. One interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other,—Christ our righteousness. - 1888 Materials, 765